The Pros and Cons of Starting a Woodworking Business
Do you enjoy woodworking as a hobby? Are looking for a way to earn money and thinking about starting a home woodworking business? There are pros and cons to this type of business, both of which you want to consider before jumping in head first.
First, let’s look at the pros.
Obviously, if you enjoy woodworking, what better way to enjoy it than get paid for it at the same time, right? In addition to doing something you love, you also get to experience other people appreciating your work – which can be very rewarding.
Another benefit is that working from home in your own wood shop means that you can skip the morning commute, you don’t have to dress up to go into the office and generally you can schedule your own hours. Having greater schedule flexibility really enables entrepreneurs to enjoy other aspects of their life as well, like family activities, travel, etc..
Woodworking can be a fairly low-cost business to start, especially if you already have much of the equipment you need. You don’t have to lease a retail storefront, hire staff or invest in lots of product inventory. You can start small and then expand as your client base grows. This can be a critical point for entrepreneurs on a limited budget.
There are also plenty of woodworking business opportunities outside of building products. You could teach the craft to others, write and publish a book about woodworking or sell design plans.
What about the cons?
Let’s face it, when you start any business you take a big risk. With woodworking, you will need to invest some money up front on necessary supplies. You will also need to invest time putting together a woodworking business plan, setting up a website and building your products. There is no guarantee that you will make any money.
One of the biggest challenges can be finding customers to buy from you. Marketing can be a lot of hard work and get expensive, and when you are just starting out, it’s difficult to know where exactly your best customers are.
On top of that, many business owners would rather not sell. They would much rather work on their craft. Any time spent marketing takes valuable time away from making products – and although marketing is necessary, you don’t want to end up working 7 days a week.
Due to the risk factors and many of the “unknowns” to starting a company, many entrepreneurs choose to start part-time before quitting their day jobs. This is completely do-able with woodworking, since you can start small and operate out of your house.
Knowing woodworking projects that sell is a critical element to being successful. Similar to starting small, learning the information help you minimize your risk. It can also help you speed up your rate of success.
And don’t think that you need to be a woodworking pro to know what sells – or even to be successful in this field. According to Jim Morgan of Wood Profits, you don’t have to be an expert woodworker and you don’t even have to have a workspace to make a six figure income.
If you are the point of learning how to start a woodworking business, but are procrastinating because you don’t know how you find customers, STOP! When it comes to finding customers, you have a variety of options.
Some craftspeople want shoppers to be able to physically view their merchandise, and they like to talk to people and answer questions about their work. Craft fairs and some farmers markets can be ideal for this.
Other artists prefer to sell online without having to meet customers. It is becoming easier and easier to do this with websites like Etsy.
You may even decide that you would rather have someone else do the selling completely and partner with a local shop where you can sell on consignment.
If you are curious about working for yourself but unsure as to whether your items will sell, take a few into some local gift shops, art galleries or other retail stores to get their feedback and ideas. You might just discover a brand new business for yourself…